Category: Slash, Humor, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing: Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Season: Beyond the Series - December 30-31, 2007
Spoilers: Wormhole X-treme (minor)
Size: 28kb, short story
Written: February 3-6,12,25-26, 2008
Summary: On their way home from a brief getaway, Jack and Daniel find themselves stranded.
Disclaimer: Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't. A gal can dream though!
1) Sometimes, Jack and Daniel speak almost telepathically. Their “silent” words to each other are indicated by asterisks instead of quotes, such as **Jack, we can't.**
2) Silent, unspoken thoughts by various characters are indicated with ~ in front and behind them, such as ~Where am I?~
3) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better: Tonya, Irina, Jo, Caro, Linda, Adrienne, Carol!
“This trip was way too quick, but it was sweet,” Jack said, reaching
over to take his lover's hand in his and sharing a brief kiss.
“It could have been worse,” Daniel responded. “They could have
all tried to get into the same shelter as we did.”
As his husband grabbed hold of his baggage, Daniel questioned with unabashed amusement, “What do we say when they ask us how the skiing was?”
Jack shrugged, laughing as he answered, “Tell 'em the truth. We never put the skis on.”
“The snow was great. We probably should have gone out at least once,” the younger man remarked as he put on his warm parka and zipped it up.
“But that would have meant sacrificing round one, two, three, four, five ...”
Daniel laughed, “Stop!”
For Christmas, Janet and Sam had teamed up with General Hammond to give the couple a weekend away at the Keystone Resort. The two women were staying at the house, tending to the Jackson-O'Neill children and canines. With time alone being so precious for the always-in-need-and-want twosome, the soulmates had ended up spending all of their time in their cozy townhouse, either in bed, in front of the fireplace, or in the steamy hot tub, where their love out-steamed the steam generated by the warm bath.
The lovers gave their room a last glance to ensure they hadn't left anything behind and proceeded with their checkout. Once seated in the truck, Daniel made a quick call home to let their friends and family know they were hitting the road.
“We should be home within a couple of hours,” Daniel commented. “Traffic is probably gonna be bad since it's a holiday weekend.”
“No problem. Did you have fun?” Sam asked.
“Yeahsureyoubetcha,” the archaeologist responded, looking over at his lover and grinning widely.
“You didn't go skiing, did you?”
“Why would you ask that?”
“Never mind,” Sam chuckled. “Don't be a road hog,” she teased as she hung up the phone.
“She knows, right?” Jack asked, seeing his husband's nod. “Next time, we'll ski.”
“Of course, we will,” Daniel said, seeing his lover give him a questioning stare. “Next time we'll have the children with us.”
“Skiing: lots of skiing,” Jack agreed humorously.
“Uh, Sam, we're running late,” Daniel spoke into his cell phone.
“We were getting worried,” the blonde spoke into the phone, looking around and smiling at the Mouseketeers, who were feeling a little anxious about the delay in their parents arriving home.
“Put the phone on speaker,” the archaeologist requested.
“Daddy, where are you?” David called out into the phone that Sam was holding.
“On the highway,” Daniel answered, glancing over at his aggravated husband. “I don't know if there's been an accident or if it's the weather, but we're crawling.”
“That's unusual,” Sam commented.
“Ya think?” Jack responded, knowing his lover had put his cell phone on speaker, too. “Carter, we were just passed by a snail.”
As Daniel shook his head, giggles could be heard over the phone.
“Where exactly are you?” Janet questioned as her laughter subsided.
“Uh, approaching Silverthorne,” Daniel responded. “Listen, Sam ...”
“Don't worry, Daniel. Janet has to go, but I can stay with the brood until you get home.”
“Thanks, Doc,” Jack called out.
“My pleasure. I wish I could stay, but I promised Doctor Warner I'd fill in for him tonight,” Janet responded.
“Jen, David, Noa, please help Aunt Sam with your brothers and sisters,” Daniel stated.
“We will, Daddy.”
“Home soon,” Chenoa requested.
Smiling, Daniel replied, “We'll be home as soon as we can. We love you.”
“We love ...” Jennifer began, her words suddenly muted.
“Jen?” Daniel called out after his daughter's response had been cut off by the loss of the signal. “Jen? Jen?” He sighed as he flipped his phone close. “Dropped call.”
“That doesn't happen much anymore,” Jack responded thoughtfully, putting the unusual phone outage together with the traffic stall and the weather conditions. “Daniel, I don't think there's an accident up ahead.”
“The winds are pretty bad. They'll open it up soon,” the younger man spoke confidently, seeing his lover nod in agreement. “I hope.”
Jack's head jerked to his right to stare at his smirking lover. He groaned and then let out a chuckle, and then the two settled back, waiting for the road to open.
“Jack,” Daniel said, looking over at his lover much later.
“I don't think we have a choice. This storm is bad,” Daniel responded.
The winds had increased dramatically, and while they crawled along the highway a bit, the lovers could barely see. Cars were skidding all over the highway, and fender benders were happening everywhere.
Finally, the police shut down the highway. The highway signs lit up with the news, as did the emergency highway radio frequency. Patrol cars did their best to notify the stranded motorists.
“I do not want to spend the night sitting in the number two lane,” Jack sighed. “Silverthorne is the closest.” Carefully, he switched lanes and inched along towards the exit. Suddenly, he felt a bump. “Oh, for crying out loud,” he whined angrily, putting the truck in 'park' and then getting out, as did Daniel.
“I'm sorry,” a woman spoke with sincerity, her eyes blinking from the falling snow that was hitting her face. “My brakes locked.”
Jack bent down and looked over his bumper, running his hands over the surface gently and then observing, “Not a scratch. Looks like the damage is just on your car, Ma'am.”
“It's not too bad.”
“Probably just a couple of hundred to straighten out that dent; maybe a little paint,” the general opined as he looked at the smaller vehicle that had slight damage to the edge of the bumper and top of the hood.
Just then a police car stopped, its lights flashing in warning. The policeman exited his vehicle and walked over, looking at the cars to see what had happened.
“My fault, Officer. I couldn't get the car to stop. It just skidded after the brakes locked,” the woman admitted openly..
“We were crawling,” Jack added. “She barely tapped me.”
“Doesn't take much when it's a compact versus an F-350,” the officer remarked, referring to the woman's Dodge Neon and Jack's Ford.
With no damage to the truck and no injuries to the parties involved, a police report wasn't made. The woman had insurance for the property damage to her car, and all agreed a trip to the body shop to fix the damage which probably would prove to be under her five-hundred-dollar deductible, anyway.
Just in case, however, the usual information was exchanged, and the police officer also gave his name and badge number to the woman as well as to Jack.
“You folks know the highway is closed up ahead,” the officer stated as the collar of his jacket flapped in the wind.
“We're heading for the shelter,” Jack spoke.
“I live nearby,” the woman stated, her arms wrapped around herself from the chill she was feeling.
“Take it easy, Folks. It's nasty out here,” the officer reminded as he returned to his patrol car and drove away to the next fender bender up ahead.
With a sorrowful smile for the inconvenience, the woman returned to her car while the lovers quickly returned to the interior of the truck, enjoying the warmth.
“I'm surprised you could see your bumper, Jack,” Daniel spoke as he patted his arms to elicit more warmth.
“That's why I rubbed the bumper; but then I think I froze my hand,” the older man mused as he held up his hand. “I think the feeling will come back soon.”
Daniel smiled as Jack readjusted his seatbelt and then took off for the turnoff that led in the direction of the shelter that was being set up at the Silverthorne Recreation Center.
“It could have been a lot worse,” the archaeologist spoke.
“Yeah. If that officer had decided to do a report, there's no telling how long we'd been there.” Jack chuckled, “Maybe we should send him a fruit basket.”
Daniel stared at his Love and asked, “Jack, what is it about you and fruit baskets, anyway?”
“I like being fruity,” the older man teased, his laughter increasing the more he thought about his retort.
“Gawd, you're bad.”
“Good bad, right?”
“I'm taking the fifth,” Daniel answered.
“A fifth of Bacardi?”
“No, a fifth of Beethoven,” the archaeologist groaned sarcastically in response. Looking out the window into the white of the storm, he thought, ~He's crazy, but I do love him.~
“I love you, too.”
“Mind dropper,” Daniel accused, getting only a laugh in reply.
Once at Silverthorne, the lovers disembarked their vehicle and then went around the back to get a couple of needed items from their luggage.
Looking around at the rapidly filling up parking lot, Daniel saw a lot of families. He smiled and waved at some of the little ones, who were looking in his direction.
“Okay, let's get inside,” Jack stated as he locked the truck.
“Jack, wait a second.”
“Daniel, it's freezing out here.”
“Look around,” the archaeologist demanded.
Jack did as requested and simply shrugged in response.
“Children: lots of children,” Daniel pointed out.
“Let's just ... you know.”
It took him a minute, but gazing into his lover's eyes, Jack understood the request. While not hiding their relationship any longer, the two never flaunted their coupling in front of others, especially not children. They truly believed that it was up to each set of parents to decide when and how to indoctrinate their children to alternate relationships other than those found in what was the traditional American family.
“I got it, Friend,” Jack smirked, shaking his head in minor irritation, though he couldn't argue with the request, especially with so many younger children around.
Thus, as the couple signed in, the general greeted, “Jack O'Neill.”
“I'm Daniel Jackson,” the archaeologist stated.
“Just find a spot anywhere that you like,” the Red Cross helper stated. “We have blankets, beverages, and some snacks available.”
“Thank you,” both men stated in response at the same time.
“Carter, this reminds me of ... places I'd rather forget,” Jack stated, referring to off-world missions. “We're sleeping on a gymnasium floor.”
Sam chuckled, “It's been all over the news, Sir. They've shut down a seventy-mile stretch of I-70.”
“You couldn't see worth squat,” Jack replied. “The winds were gusting out of this world; okay, maybe not out of this world because ... the winds were bad.”
Nodding and laughing as she held the phone to her ear, the blonde replied, “They said they're fifty-to-seventy miles per hour.”
“They're right,” Jack stated as he looked around at the sea of people in the recreation center. “There must be close to a thousand people in here.”
“I'm not surprised,” Sam said, suddenly looking up the stairs. “Where's Daniel?”
“Where do you think?” the general chuckled. “He's making friends.”
“Sir, I ...”
“I heard. Sounds like Ricky. Make sure that his blanket hasn't fallen out of the crib.”
“He carries it everywhere. Uh ...” Sam paused, hearing the cry increase in loudness.
“Go,” Jack ordered, shutting off his cell phone. He was happy the call had gone through okay, though it had been a bit static-filled. He looked over at his lover, who was playing with two children, taking their minds off of being stranded in some unknown place. ~That's My Danny -- geez, I love him.~
“Do you have any threes?” a young girl asked.
“No fair,” Jack groused, handing over two 'three' cards.
The eight-year-old giggled, gladly taking possession of her competitor's cards.
“She's a ringer, Daniel,” Jack teased.
“I'm a 'Go Fish' expert,” the girl claimed.
“It's the only game she knows how to play,” the girl's nine-year-old brother retaliated.
“It is not.”
“Yes, it is,” the boy said, shoving against his sister's shoulder.
The siblings began to get a little boisterous in their bickering. Their parents were about to intercede when Daniel interrupted.
“Being an expert at 'Go Fish' is a pretty good thing. I'm not an expert,” the negotiator said, looking down at the book of tens that he had in front of him, which was the only grouping he'd managed to accumulate thus far. “Jack, you're not doing so bad.”
“Four books,” Jack said with pride.
Daniel smiled as he looked over at the girl's cards and noted, “Our expert has six books already.” He looked at the boy's cards and shrugged. “Uh, what do you have?”
“I'm letting her win.”
“Then that means you always let me win, because I always win when we play,” the girl boasted.
“You only win because I let you.”
“Doesn't sound very gentlemanly to me,” Jack spoke quietly as he rearranged the cards in his hand.
“What?” the stunned boy questioned.
“It's not like she's that little girl over there. How old do you think she is, Daniel?”
Daniel looked in the direction that his lover was pointing and then answered, “Maybe five. I could see letting her win sometimes.”
“But not every time, and you two are only separated in age by one year,” Jack said, looking at the two children he was playing with. Shaking his head, he commented, “Being a man means being able to admit when someone is better than you.”
“You're just saying that because you're a grown up,” the boy accused, not wanting to admit he just had no luck with 'Go Fish'.
“Daniel, what happens when we play chess?” Jack asked.
“I *cream* you,” Daniel said pridefully, using a term that he wouldn't normally say, but wanting to help emphasize the lesson being taught.
“And when we play gin?”
The younger man sighed, “You cream me.” Daniel looked over at the children and said, “We're good at different things. My skills are a little better than Jack's at chess, but he always manages to get the better of me when we play gin.” He smiled, thinking, ~Of course, I always get distracted playing gin. It's that Irish smile of his.~
“Nothing to be ashamed of,” Jack spoke. ~He's just not as good at gin; doesn't require as much logic as chess; he loses his concentration.~ “What's your specialty?” he questioned, looking at the boy.
“The game you're the best at,” Jack clarified.
When the boy shrugged, it was the girl who answered, “He's really good at playing 'Sorry'. He doesn't always win, but he usually does.”
“There you go,” Jack said, gesturing energetically with his hand towards the boy. “You're the king of 'Sorry', and your sister is the queen of 'Go Fish'.”
“I like that,” the little girl said.
The boy thought about it and then said, “Me, too.” After a moment, he said, “It's still your turn.”
The little girl smiled and asked Daniel, “Do *you* have any threes?”
“That's what I needed,” the little girl said, placing down her latest book, the 'three' cards.
“My sister is the best at 'Go Fish',” the boy praised.
Jack and Daniel shared a look and then looked over at the parents, who were smiling at the exchange they'd overheard.
A bit later, when the game was through, and the kids had gone to sleep, the father walked with Jack and Daniel and said, “They've been fighting about that game for weeks. Thanks.”
“It comes from experience,” Jack responded.
“You have kids?”
“Eight,” the general responded.
“Wow! Well, that makes you the 'Kid Expert',” the man teased.
“I wish,” Jack lamented, chuckling lightly as he looked at his smiling husband.
“I wouldn't have wanted to be an Egyptian worker,” an eleven-year-old boy commented as he talked with Daniel.
“Did you know it took thirty years to build the pyramid at Giza? *Thirty* years of pulling stones into place. I think pyramids are neat, but I wouldn't ever want to build one.”
**Daniel, careful,** Jack reminded as he stood nearby, chatting with the boy's father about hockey.
“Most people think they used ramps built out of mud, stone, wood, and then moved the stones up and around the pyramid to get them in place,” Daniel responded.
“Too much work,” the boy said. “I could tell them what to do, though.”
“You want to be a boss,” Daniel surmised with a nod.
“My dad calls it job security. Two pyramids would be a lifetime,” the boy said confidently.
“True, but, uh, there's a little more to it.”
“Yeah, I know. We live longer now, but it would have been fun to build a pyramid, if I could tell them what to do,” the boy laughed. Eagerly, he added, “It would be even easier if I were a warlock, like on 'Bewitched', and I could just snap my fingers and build it.”
“That would work,” Daniel said, somewhat amused by the remark. “But, then, there wouldn't be the satisfaction of building something yourself. I mean, uh, how can you have pride in something that you just ... snap your fingers to do? The Egyptians might have worked hard to,” he swallowed, biting his tongue from saying what he really wanted to, “build the pyramids, but when they were done, they had a right to be proud. The pyramids were built on their blood, sweat, and tears.”
“I know what you mean,” the boy said.
“Well, I like to help my dad build furniture. He's a carpenter, and he's teaching me,” the boy said excitedly. “I built a table, my *first* table last year, all by myself. He helped me with some of the tools, but I did it. Mom has it in her sewing room. She made a big fuss over it.”
“And that makes you feel good.”
“Yeah, I guess so. You're right. I like how I felt when I was done, knowing I'd done it. Before, all I'd done was just help Dad. You think what I felt is what the Egyptians felt?” the boy asked.
“Absolutely,” the archaeologist responded. ~Had they actually built them.~
Suddenly, the boy laughed.
“Did you see that TV show? It was only on one time, and then they canceled it. 'Wormhole Something',” the boy recalled.
Daniel gave the boy a closed smile, nodding as he said, “Uh, actually, yes, I, uh, I ... saw it. 'Wormhole X-treme'.”
“Yeah. I saw that when I was a kid,” the boy said.
~When he was a kid; well, he would have been six then. I guess he feels ancient now compared to that.~
“Anyway, I love science fiction shows like that. My dad does, too. He taped it.”
“Oh, classic,” Daniel responded a bit dryly.
“On that show, they said the pyramids were built by aliens.”
“I remember,” Daniel replied, nodding nervously.
“Do you think that's possible? But if they did, how could it have taken thirty years?” the boy questioned.
“Maybe, uh, you should just keep your mind open to the possibilities. Who knows? We weren't there,” the archaeologist answered.
“Maybe the aliens just made the Egyptians build it, like slaves. That wouldn't be very nice, though. They'd be the bad guys. Then the slaves should rise up and make the aliens slaves,” the boy said, getting into a bit of creative fiction. “They could make the aliens do their bidding, live on bread and water, and with no blankets.”
“Well, remember, just because the alleged aliens are the bad guys, or might be, doesn't mean they don't have riiiiii...ghts.”
**Daniel, did you just quote that wacky Levant character?**
**I think so.**
“Wow,” the boy responded. “That's kinda what that wacky scientist said on that TV show.”
“Wacky?” Daniel asked incredulously.
“Mom said he's overemotional,” the boy stated.
“Dad said he just needs one year with the Marines. Then he wouldn't be a sissy anymore.”
“Whoa, ah, will you excuse me?” Jack said to the father, abruptly terminating their hockey discussion. “Daniel, we have something we need to do.”
“We do,” Jack stated forcefully.
“Yes, we do,” Daniel agreed, standing up. “Derrick, it was good to meet you. Keep your mind open, and, uh, Levant was passionate, not a sissy,” he said, smiling and then walking over to join his husband. “Did you hear that?”
“It's a TV show, Daniel.”
“Colonel Danning was a sex-crazed, self-indulgent, military buffoon who was more concerned with his rank and his *flavor* of the week than saving the inhabitants of the world.”
“He was just misunderstood.”
“You're saying I'm lying?” Daniel questioned sternly.
“No, I'm saying you're mistaken.”
“You mean I'm confusing you with the truth,” Daniel suggested aggressively.
“No, yes, I ... geez.”
Daniel smiled and whispered, “Don't worry about it, Babe. It's what I do.”
Patting his lover on the right arm, the younger man smiled smugly and then returned to where their things were in the large gym.
“That's my line!” Jack whined before breaking out into a chuckle and then joining his husband.
**Danny, are you awake?** Jack communicated several hours later via the lovers' unique way of talking privately.
**I shouldn't be, but I am. There's something about lying on a cold gym floor with a thousand other people that makes me feel like a ... fish.**
**Especially when we're separated like this. It feels like you're a mile away,** the older man whined.
Daniel turned his head to face his husband and smiled while replying, **Not even two feet. We'll live.**
**I want a happy meal,** Jack sighed. **And I want it *now*,** he demanded.
**You sure do love McDonald's.**
**I love their happy meals. Hey, it's helped us in the stock market.**
**Of course, it has,** Daniel replied.
**Angel, it took Mickey D's about ten years to build up that happy meal business.**
**Yes, they used patience,** Daniel teased.
Jack let out a chuckle and responded, **You got me there.**
**They have made smart choices with their marketing,** the younger man noted.
**Teaming up with Disney.** Jack grinned and let out another chuckle. **The two best Mickeys of the world working together. How could it not be a success?** he mused.
**Danny, I'm hungry.**
**We can get something to eat before we leave,** Daniel replied.
**Let's leave,** Jack suggested mentally.
**Not before sunup, Love. The highway is still closed, or they would have made an announcement, and I'd much rather be a fish on a cold floor than a freezing archaeologist in your truck.**
**We could ...**
**No, Jack. Too many people around.**
Jack let out a sigh and thought, ~What a way to end a year.~
Opening his eyes, Daniel looked around and decided to risk one quick touch. He reached over and squeezed his lover's hand, smiling happily at the older man as he did so.
**Is it really so bad?**
Jack smiled, replying, **I'm here, with you. No, it's not so bad.**
“This was the worst storm we've had here in Summit County in thirty years,” a Red Cross worker said to the lovers as they were leaving the next morning.
“I believe it,” Jack responded. “I've lived around here for a long time, and I don't think I've ever seen the highway so bad that it was a complete whiteout.”
“The police said there were accidents everywhere,” the worker remarked.
“We saw a few on our way here last night,” Daniel spoke. Shaking her hand, he added, “Thanks for the hospitality.”
“You're welcome to stay. We may keep the shelters, at least some of them, open again tonight. The roads are still closed.”
“Time to get in line,” Jack sighed. “Thank you, Ma'am. We ... I have kids at home.”
“Me, too,” Daniel stated with a smile.
“It was nice to meet you both. Drive safely.”
With a nod, Jack and Daniel took their things and headed out into the snow to their truck.
Mid-morning on the thirty-first of December, Jack and Daniel were back in their truck and sitting in the traffic jam of their lives. It wasn't how they had originally planned to spend New Year's Eve.
Had they been home, the parents would be playing with their children and then prepping for an intimate family celebration that night. Nothing fancy, just the Jackson-O'Neills enjoying their togetherness. They were going to make a few snacks, do a bit of housecleaning, and then have their family party. Of course, the party was still a go, but playtime had been a victim of the storm.
By the time they'd get home, Jack and Daniel would have to go straight to their party preparations. The lovers had special gifts for each of their children that needed to be wrapped, too. Fortunately, they already had everything they needed in terms of food.
“I hope they open it soon,” Daniel lamented.
“So does everyone else,” Jack observed, looking around at all the other vehicles. “Danny, take a picture.”
“Of the highway sign. Just in case no one believes us,” Jack stated.
“Babe, Sam said it was all over the news again this morning. There were two-thousand people stranded in Summit County.”
“We were with half of 'em,” the general sighed.
“You'd think with nine shelters open, the numbers would be more even.”
“Maybe where we were was the largest,” Daniel supposed.
Amused by the lunacy of his husband's request, Daniel pulled out his cell phone and got out of the truck.
“Where are you going?”
“To take the picture,” Daniel answered with amusement.
“We shouldn't be much longer,” Daniel said.
“That's what you said last night,” Sam mused.
“We're on I-25 now, so the coast is clear.”
“The brood is anxious for your return,” Sam responded.
“Translation: they're driving you crazy,” Jack spoke with amusement.
“There are eight of them, Sir, and I love them all dearly, but David wants me to explain quantum physics to him and ...”
“What?” Jack questioned. “How'd that come up?”
“I think it was a TV show,” Sam said. “And Jen wants to talk boys and ...”
“Tie her down, Captain.”
“Captain?” both Sam and Daniel questioned at the same time.
“Glad my message was received,” Jack replied wryly.
Sam continued, “Chenoa wants me to read her a story. The twins just want to eat and ... burp, and ...”
“We get the idea, Carter,” Jack laughed. “Hang on. The cavalry is coming.”
“Thank you, Sir,” Sam replied enthusiastically.
Daniel chuckled, “See you soon.”
“Eight is tough on one person,” Jack acknowledged seriously.
“She's doing great,” Daniel opined.
“She is,” Jack agreed. “What a night.”
“It was just a minor inconvenience,” Daniel proclaimed.
“A small annoyance,” Jack agreed.
“A tiny nuisance.”
“Even a teeny vexation.”
“Vexation? Good one, Love,” Daniel praised.
“Thank you, Danny,” Jack acknowledged.
The lovers were almost home, and they were as happy now as they'd been on their romantic getaway. Being stranded for a night was simply a slice of their happy existence together, a small moment in time that allowed them to meet some new people and experience another event together. In the end, it hadn't been so bad. In fact, the worst part was missing their children, but that was something they'd make up for tonight, which was New Year's Eve. 2007 had been a very good year for the Jackson-O'Neills, and things could only get better from here on out.
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“It could have been worse,” Daniel responded. “They could have
all tried to get into the same shelter as we did.”